I am 36 today! I feel like I should be coming to grips with the whole nearing 40 thing, but when it comes to my age, I feel like I am viewing it from a bemused distance. Like it’s happening to someone else.
Things Adults Do.
It’s like I’m not really 36, actually. That is an age that belongs to GROWN UPS. And I am still waiting to be a grown up. Which makes me wonder what I am expecting to happen. Grown ups do many of the things that I actually do, such as:
- Going to work
- Doing tax returns
- Paying bills
- Having opinions about political matters
- Being amazed at how much easier (in some respects) it is for young people these days
- Saying “When I was your age…” to young people
Because I, too, do those things, I should probably feel quite grown up. Even sitting in the accountant’s office recently, I felt like a bit of an impostor. As if I shouldn’t have been there and any minute, the accountant guy would call me on it. While he was fixing our tax things, I even had to take a work-related call. SO ADULTY. But, no, still didn’t feel like a card-carrying, board certified grown up.
What 36 Looks Like.
I am a married person with children who lives in a house, drives a car, gets paid money for work and not a cent for doing household chores. And yet, I feel like I am about 16. This feeling is not helped by what I see in the mirror. Now, don’t think I’m being all full of myself; I have lines and stretch marks and other signs of adult wear and tear, like other 36 year olds that aren’t celebrities full of botox and followed around by personal trainers.
However, this 36 year old still looks in the mirror and sees zits.
I had a facial the other day (I try to fit one in every year or two if I see a good deal on Groupon) and moaned to the beauty therapist that I had the skin of a teenager with all my hormone-related breakouts. She was quick to reassure me that I also had dry patches consistent with being two decades beyond peak-teen but agreed that its was very frustrating to be oldish and still spotty.
What 36 Feels Like.
If you’d asked me 20 years ago where I’d be at 36, I suspect it wouldn’t be in a rented house in the ‘burbs. It wouldn’t have been working crazy hours in the public service. I think I envisioned a life with more travel (and I still do, but not quite yet) and definitely more cats. But the nice thing about this age is that you aren’t struggling under the weight of other people’s expectations. I don’t just mean the fact that you don’t have to clean your room when your parents say so, either.
I mean that you like what you like without caring about the cool factor. If you want to watch godawful television or listen to Justin Beiber, you do it without apology. You wear what fits and feels fabulous without worrying about the trends. You make decisions based on what you want and need rather than worrying about what people in magazines are doing. By this age, you have also hopefully surrounded yourself with amazing friends who also give zero fucks about the trivial stuff. I know that I have done those last few things, for sure.
So, while I might often be looking around for an adultier adult in certain situations, I have actually got some important aspects of being a grown up covered, after all. I literally just realised that as I wrote it. Must be a 36 year old thing!